#DearMe — An Open Letter to My Younger Self

Some of you may have seen the #DearMe campaign that recently debuted. It features the famous ladies of YouTube addressing their younger selves with life advice. It’s basically an “It Gets Better” campaign for ladies, taking aim at the insecurities that hold us back from being ourselves and reaching our potential. Check the video below:

A dear friend posted this brilliant and important bit of viral goodness to a Facebook group I participate in, and proposed the simple question: what advice would you give?

Obviously, I couldn’t resist writing a little something up. I love talking to Past Chelsea (as evidenced by last week’s essay), So I wrote these words to my former self. Younger me really, really needed to hear them, because she certainly wasn’t taking any of her mother’s brilliant advice.

Check it out, and let me know in the comments what advice you’d give your younger self!

————-

Dear Me,

You will spend your entire young life trying to be cool and proving your worth to others. Don’t do it. Your worth is inherent; it’s as fundamental as your propensity to breathe. 

Stop questioning yourself at every turn, and throwing yourself into the fire each and every time a person who can sense your willing vulnerability sets out to take advantage of you. They will. They will control you, manipulate you, rape you, discard you and throw you to the wolves. They will isolate you from the people who do love you and see your worth, and make you unrecognizable to everybody; including yourself.

You are not a savior.  

Learn to read their signs and to love yourself enough to walk away from them. 

And if you can’t — because lord knows with your bursting heart, you can’t — forgive yourself when they hurt you.

What they do says everything about them, and nothing about you. Go on loving and being the open-hearted, sensitive, hyper-empathetic, love-seeking writer that you are. 

You may not fit in with your family or your peers, but you will find people who love and appreciate you for you. Thing is, you will never find those people if you aren’t authentically yourself. 

Stop playing the “cool girl.” You’re not her. Not by a long shot. The “cool girl” doesn’t exist, and if she did, I doubt she’d cry into her journal after pretending to be cool with being a side piece. 

Listen to your mother. She sees what you can’t yet see. Her wisdom will speak to you when she’s long gone. One day, you’ll learn to read those subtle signs, too. 

Take care of yourself. Stop worrying about your body, and whether you’ll find love. Love will come when you learn to love yourself and stop giving yourself away to those who are unworthy. Your body won’t matter when that love comes. 

Let yourself be a writer. It’s ok to follow your calling, even if it won’t bring you riches or a steady career. Don’t let anyone convince you to give up something that is essential to your happiness and to who you are as a person.

Don’t let them make you feel not good enough.

You are enough. 

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